Posts Tagged ‘Virginia Moreno’


With the Morenos of Tondo – Happy and Sad Moments

January 29, 2018
  • Malvar1I visited Ms. Virginia R. Moreno before New Year 2018. It was on December 28 when I went to see her at the house of Pitoy, her younger brother. Though tired, “Aling Barang” was in high spirits as she recounted past events during our Film Center days. She talked about her coming projects, including the celebration of Pitoy’s birthday in February. Miss Moreno was my professor in “Philippine Cinematic Arts” under the Humanities Course. Our classroom — AS 209 eventually became UP Film Center’s office cum film venue viewing. That was where I first saw the films of Russian great filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein. When the number of cineastes grew, the screening moved to Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero Theater. A few years later, the UP Film Center was finally built beside Abelardo Theatre. I was not around when they transferred to its present location. I was by then in Pune, India.
  • Malvar

    Miss Moreno used to boast that all her clothes were designed not by Pitoy but by herself. She was always dressed flamboyantly whenever she came to our class. Oh! How I loved seeing her like a butterfly — so free, happy and awesome-looking. And yes! She is the one responsible for sending me to India to study film making where at the same time I learned to love wearing Indian clothes which I continued to adopt until now as shown above.

Unfortunately, two weeks after visiting VRM on January 15, I heard the news about the passing away of Aling Barang’s brother Pitoy Moreno, the Fashion Czar of Asia. He was the one who popularized the use of indigenous materials in the ternos that he then beautifully designed. During his wake at the Santuario de San Antonio in Forbes Park, many of his models and friends paid their last respect to him. A few of us from the UP Film Center were present.

[Above photo below] With former UP Film Center workshoppers at the last day of Pitoy’s wake: Clare Salaverria [extreme left] who joined UPFC at the time I was sent to India and Sheila Nicolas [extreme right]. They were batchmates.


Jorge Arago Passed Away

December 30, 2011

Kahapon ko lang nalaman namatay si Jorge. Nabalitaan ko yun kay Ms Virginia R. Moreno na inimbita ko para magjoin sana sa screening ng ULTIMO ADIOS film namin sa RIzal Shrine sa Fort Santiago. Nagulat ako sympre. At nalungkot dahil nakasama namin si Jorge sa UP Film Center noong panahong direktor pa si Aling Barang ng Film Center. Ngayong umaga, mula kay Pete Lacaba nabasa ko ang sumusunod:

Screenwriter Jorge Arago passed away yesterday, December 27, 2011.

IMDb lists only four film titles to his name: Nunal sa Tubig (1976, story & screenplay, directed by Ishmael Bernal), Bakit May Pag-ibig Pa? (1979, credited as George Arago, for the segment directed by Ishmael Bernal), Ala Verde, Ala Pobre (2005, co-written with director Briccio Santos), Ala Suerte Ala Muerte (2007, co-written with director Briccio Santos). He’s also credited as script consultant on Ishmael Bernal’s City After Dark (1980).

For Ala Verde, Ala Pobre, Jorge was co-winner of the best screenplay award at the 2005 Cinemanila International Film Festival. For Nunal sa Tubig, he was nominated for the best screenplay award at the 1977 Gawad Urian.

Babeth Lolarga has written this “small tribute” to Jorge Arago the journalist and mentor.

Bukas na lang ako siguro magpopost tungkol sa Manila Kingpin


Rizal Did Not Write “Sa Aking Kababata”

June 23, 2011

That’s the current issue ongoing—RIZAL COULD NOT HAVE WRITTEN SA AKING KABABATA—the reason why I had to remove it from the list of five poems that I wanted to have interpreted in Filipino Sign Language (with blessings from the NCCA since NHCP is also in sort of a limbo bout it). I first came to know about the issue when Vim Nadera told me. Ask National Artist Virgilio Almario about it for details!

Anyway, as I really want to have a representative poem of Rizal when he was very young, I am considering as a replacement, MI PRIMERA INSPIRACION, written for his mother before he was 14 years old. But still I need to verify this because some sources are not sure about it and attributing it to his cousin as well.

CANTO DEL VIAJERO  and MI PIDEN VERSOS are also in my list… which one to choose is my dilemna right now. Anyway, this will be the last poem that I will do.

This afternoon, Aldrin Gabriel, Deaf interpreter in FSL of Ultimo Adios will join the rehearsals for the cultural night show tomorrow of the International Rizal International Conference. Will take him to the venue and leave him to the care of Dok Apo, then I will most probably attend the event of Aling Barang Moreno at the UP Film Center. (WOW! She’s returning to her “baby.”) It is for us, a momentous event — to see her at the UP Film Center, our beloved UP Film Center!!! Nostalgia bigla!

And next week! I’ll probably be able to join again the Asiong Salonga team…with full focus on it by July. I am well bent in finishing its editing next month, well, interspersed with Alyana showings at the UP or MMC if they will be able to finalize their plan over there in Nova.


Nick Joaquin’s Last Entry to & Exit from Cafe Orfeo

January 26, 2009

Last January 15, I have spent many hours  looking for the footages that I shot exactly five years ago in 2004 at the house of Aling Barang (poet, playwright Virginia R. Moreno) on the occasion of Raven writer Hilario Francia’s death anniversary. The strange compulsion within me was strong and sudden. I didn’t stop until I found the master tape. I have hundreds of mini-dv tapes at home because my docus are mostly feature-length. Looking for that one tape really racked my brain.

The ground floor of Miss Moreno’s house used to be an artist’s den, a cafe-restaurant for literary writers, visual artists, poets, playwrights, theater and performing artists, etc. She called it Cafe Orfeo. The place was not well-lighted but I shot the happenings just the same. I used my small ordinary mini-dv handycam which I happened to carry with me on that day.

VRM welcomes Nick Joaquin and Ms. Elena

VRM welcomes Nick Joaquin and Ms. Elena

Miss Moreno’s visitors consisted of National Artist for Literature Nick Joaquin and his companion, Ms. Elena; my former Humanities professors Mrs. Josefa Lava and Deanna Ongpin-Recto; Ms. Leticia Ramos-Shahani, Adrian Cristobal and his daughter Stella, Corito Llamas and her family and a few other writers and friends who were close to Ms. Moreno. “Mang Larry” as we fondly called Mr. Larry Francia at the UP Film Center was Corito’s uncle.

Corito Llamas greets Nick Joaquin

Corito Llamas greets Nick Joaquin

Out of the footages that I shot, I came up with a vignette of some sort titled “Nick Joaquin’s Last Entry to and Exit from Cafe Orfeo.” The edited copy (roughly 5 min. long) was shown only once in June of 2004 in an event Miss Moreno called “Reunion in a Sky Cafe”—Lyrical Elegy by Poets for Honorary Raven Nick Joaquin and Raven poet Hilario Francia.” (Mang Nick whose real name was Nicomedes Marquez Joaquin died on April 29, 2004 or three months after their January meet). Before the copy gets lost, I’ll be sharing it with you. That’s a promise! Right now I just have a problem in uploading it.


Today is January 30. As I have promised I am going to share with you the vignette of the Raven writers gathering at Cafe Orfeo. Please click below:

Nick Joaquin’s Last Entry to and Exit from Cafe Orfeo